Convicted Russian child sex abuser Stanislav Molodyakov, aka Alexander Trofimov, who had been serving an eight-year prison term for sexually abusing 17 girls, has won a six-month reduction in his prison term by Royal Decree.
The reduced sentence, at least the second to be granted, would make Molodyakov—who has consistently enjoyed leniency despite the broad scale of his convictions—eligible for parole as early as next year.
King Norodom Sihamoni last month approved Molodyakov’s sentence reduction along with those of other inmates rewarded for good behavior, according to the decree.
“Reduce the jail term by six months for 66 convicts who are trying to better correct themselves during the duration of serving prison term in the past,” the May 16 decree said.
Molodyakov, who was apprehended in 2007 under the alias Alexander Trofimov, was convicted in three trials, including one case in which he was found guilty of committing indecent acts on 15 underage girls and two others where he was found guilty of buying sex with children.
The jail sentences handed down totaled 17 years but were consolidated by the Court of Appeal last year into a lesser eight-year sentence, making Molodyakov eligible for parole in less than three years.
Chea Hey, one of the two lawyers defending Molodyakov, said yesterday he was delighted by the reduction in his client’s eight-year sentence.
“I think that His Majesty the King signed a Royal Decree reducing jail term because my client has corrected himself very well,” Mr Hey said. “He was also contributing to social development.”
At the time of his arrest in September 2007, Molodyakov was the executive director of Koh Puos Investment Group, a firm building a $300 million holiday resort on a Preah Sihanouk province island.
Pich Veasna, director of Preah Sihanouk Provincial Prison where Molodyakov is being held, said yesterday he was unaware of the reduction of the jail term but spoke well of the convict, citing his good behavior.
“He is very gentle and well-behaved,” Mr Veasna said.
In addition to the consolidated sentence, Molodyakov’s case has been repeatedly marred by accusations of judicial misconduct.
In January 2010, the Supreme Court sent Molodyakov’s appeal back to the Court of Appeal after ruling there was insufficient evidence of the age of one of the victims at the time of the alleged crime.
In its new decision, the appeal court said Molodyakov’s apology to his victims had helped sway the court to accept his lawyers’ request for the consolidation of the three prison terms to which he had originally been sentenced. The apology came only after his initial convictions.
In June 2010, the Court of Appeal also rejected an extradition request from Russia, where Molodyakov is wanted on charges of sex crimes against children.
A year earlier, a Justice Ministry official was arrested and accused of accepting $250,000 to forge an extradition request to allow Molodyakov’s release. In June 2009, prison officials said he had been allowed to leave prison on at least one occasion.
Samleang Seila, country director for Action Pour Les Enfants, an anti-pedophile NGO which provided legal representation to Molodyakov’s victims, said yesterday that he was dismayed to learn of the sentence reduction.
“Generally, I would recommend that those who sexually abuse or molest children or commit serious sex crimes should not be given a reduction of sentence or a Royal Pardon.”
(Additional reporting by Abby Seiff)